Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back to the Future, Part Never

So the late night in July 1987 when, back home in Paducah the summer after my first year in college, I happened to catch this ...

... you might've gotten me to bet a couple hundred dollars that I would not, even 26 years later, be seeing the following.

And then on Tuesday night, "Actor/Director Crispin Glover returns to Maiden Alley Cinema for his second evening with his Big Slideshow and films followed by a post-screening Q&A and book signing. WHAT IS IT? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes."

So ... you know ... one never does.


  1. I watched that same event, and I have never been more surprised by anything on TV. For years, I just assumed that Glover was insane, or that he had a nervous breakdown of some kind.

  2. Here is the explanation from Wikipedia:

    "Glover appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on July 28, 1987, to promote the movie River's Edge, in which he starred. Unbeknownst to Letterman and the audience, Glover appeared in character as 'Rubin', from a then-unreleased movie Rubin and Ed, wearing platform shoes and a wig. Rather than a conventional interview, Glover staged an Andy Kaufman-like prank. After being goaded by a woman in the audience (who some argue had been planted), Glover stated that he 'knew that this was gonna happen' and that 'the press, they can do things, they can twist things around'. After challenging Letterman to an arm-wrestling match, Glover delivered an impromptu karate kick a few feet from Letterman while stating, 'I'm strong... I can kick!' Letterman then abruptly ended the segment by walking off stage, saying 'I'm going to check on the Top 10', as the program cut to commercial.

    "The subsequent confusion and controversy surrounding his appearance was compounded by the fact that Rubin and Ed was not actually released until 1991; however, the movie had been in development since before Back to the Future — Crispin had actually already devised Rubin's 'look' by 1985. Almost no-one, apparently including Letterman, understood what Glover was doing and the interview became the hallmark of the 'weird' TV guest."

  3. I was also watching Letterman the night Andy Kaufman got into a fight with a wrestler.

    The original "Late Night with David Letterman" may have been the strangest television show ever aired.

  4. I remember the night that Jay Leno became the first member of the "Three-Timers' Club" (guests who had appeared on the show three times).